You Only Post on Instagram When in Other Countries

Swiss mountains, Chilean volcanoes, a beach in Vancouver–
currently, my hands grip a steering wheel. In the passenger

seat is a black bag. Inside, a paper bag. Inside, a salad, or
sandwich, or scone, or soup. The bread is probably hard

as stone. I scroll your travels from the safety of a stoplight.
I am far from the only wanderlust trapped in the confines

of a tipped job. I’d drive my Ford into the ocean. Sink into
the Atlantic and arrive somewhere you haven’t heard of.

 

(originally published in Lines + Stars, Spring 2019)

Cardinals

Cold fronts enter spring, but cardinals
sing their frigid songs despite soft snow.

Red lips still curl over the sidewalk’s cigarettes
but warmth dissipates when smoke leaves the body.

Pale hands reach from corners of blurry photographs–
push through crowds of these-were-my-lovers

tines of bright puncture darkness. Negative dust
turns to light: the telescope observed your eyes

wandering the dark. Believe the perched cardinal
is lost love thinking of you who sculpts the moon

out of papier-mâché– scope the abyss for stars
but smell the art’s silver crumble on your skin.

 

(originally published in Thirteen Myna Birds, Fall 2016)